Context is king

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —September 10, 2008
Filed in Culture, Selling

In case there are still people out there who believe we act as rational decision makers, take this scenario.

You’re in a shop to buy a new ipod and you hear from a friend that two blocks down the street you can get the same one $50 cheaper.

Do you go?

Yes. Of course. It’s $50 buck straight back in your pocket.

You are in a shop buying a multi-thousand dollar flat-screen TV. You hear from a friend that you can get the same TV two blocks down the street for $50 cheaper.

Do you go?

Of course not. It’s not worth the effort.


About  Shawn Callahan

Shawn, author of Putting Stories to Work, is one of the world's leading business storytelling consultants. He helps executive teams find and tell the story of their strategy. When he is not working on strategy communication, Shawn is helping leaders find and tell business stories to engage, to influence and to inspire. Shawn works with Global 1000 companies including Shell, IBM, SAP, Bayer, Microsoft & Danone. Connect with Shawn on:

2 Responses to “Context is king”

  1. Kathleen Says:

    Maybe you wouldn’t. I would, and then I’d report back to the first store to see if it could give me a better deal.
    I got a similar question from a professor – you buy very expensive tickets to a game/show/event you’ve always wanted to see. You get there (all dressed up, got a babysitter, etc.), only to discover you’ve lost the tickets. Do you buy more? Probably yes. But would you buy more if you’d made the discovery the day before the event? A week before?

  2. Shawn Callahan Says:

    My mother definitely would as well. In fact she has been know to drive for over 30 minutes to get three tubs of butter for a saving of a couple of bucks and not realising the petrol costs.
    Your ticket example is a beauty. I’d imagine many people wouldn’t buy the new tickets if the discovery was made earlier unless it was an Arctic Monkeys concert.

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